Top 5 Books Every Comedy Fan Should Read

  • Posted on: 14 September 2014
  • By: Leonard Shostak

If you are a huge fan of standup comedy and improv classes, shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in NYC are an excellent way to spend an evening or weekend of entertainment filled with laughter. In a digital era in which we are inundated with TV shows and online options to make us laugh, more often than not we forget the power of live standup comedy or the less conventional choice of picking up a book written by the same TV comedians we watch. Whether you are an improv class student, an up-and-coming standup comedian in NYC or simply a fan of the art of making others laugh, here is a list of 5 books by comedians in TV that would make an excellent addition to your library selection:

Bossypants by Tina Fey

A fun memoir of Fey’s life transitions from being a nerd while growing up to becoming a mom. Her book also chronicles her early years in Chicago’s Second City, her work at SNL and 30 Rock. Above all, it’s a great story of Fey’s image of a powerful woman who finds her way to the top of a profession dominated by men. If you are a fan of Tina’s style and sharp humor, you can’t skip this book.

I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert

Who doesn’t love Colbert’s famous “Nation” phrase. One can’t even imagine meeting him out of his character, which he continues to follow in this book as well. I Am America (And So Can You!) is an extension of The Colbert Report show and portrays his poorly informed character while delving into the most pressing issues affecting the US. Sequels to this book include America Again and I Am a Pole (And So Can You!).

America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart

We can’t mention Stephen Colbert and miss Jon Stewart. America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction is another amazing bonus to The Daily Show. Stewart’s book is a sharp-humored political parody, satirizing worldviews and American politics.

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman

A sharp memoir by Sarah Silverman, conveying her versatility as a writer, actress and a standup comedian, who is also known for her love of poop jokes. If you want to learn more about her life influences and what shaped her style and standup persona, this is a fun narrative to get to know Ms. Silverman.

I Didn't Ask to Be Born (But I'm Glad I Was) by Bill Cosby

How can one talk about TV comedy personalities without mentioning Bill Cosby. In addition to Fatherhood and Cosbyology, I Didn’t Ask to Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was), his most recent book, focuses on the human condition, powerfully conveyed in an entertaining collection of hilarious essays.

While experiencing the power of humor is strong in live standup comedy or in TV shows, the power of the written word doesn’t fail to achieve an equally delightful experience of entertainment and observation of life realities through the lenses of humor.